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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Your free Web 2.0 Study Buddy!



As part of our Computer Science portfolio, my students had to analyze a Web 2.0 app. There are several exciting new (free) services out there that can really help students.

Studybuddy.info
The first one I want to bring to your attention is studybuddy.info. If you have a student who is struggling with SAT words, this is where to send them.

One of my students reviewed this in her portfolio and she simply did an incredible job. She did a great job reviewing the site, so I suggest you read her whole review. In her review, Kyli writes:

Goodbye paper notecards! Studybuddy offers an easy and effective way to study without the use of paper notecards. It also offers a way to test yourself using "notecards."

To begin you have stacks, which are stacks of virtual notecards. You can create as many stacks as you need. To add notecards to the stack you click on the stack name, and then click on new card. When you click to create a note card, you then go to the card editor. The card editor allows you to create a notecard by typing a question and answer. Once you have made all your notecards, studybuddy provides a variety of ways to test yourself.

They include the review mode, the classic mode, the printable mode, the direct answer mode, and the multiple choice mode. The review mode is good for reviewing or farmiliarizing yourself with the information. The classic mode displays you the question and then requires you to "flip" the card, revealing the anwser. The Printable mode allows you to print your note cards. The Direct Answer mode displays you the question and requires you to type in the anwser. The Multiple Choice mode displays the question, and then provides four possible anwsers for you to choose from.

With all these options learning the information should be easy, but Studybuddy still offers you 8 reasons to use their virtual notecards.
Intuitive Learning and Analysis
I am so impressed at her and the other student's abilities to analyze, review, and understand new technology. It is vital that they learn how to become intuitive learners. Notice that I did not "show" her how to use this website. She selected it from a list that I approved. Then, she had to set it up, use it, and analyze it.

It is so important in computers that we move away from scripting all of the answers and clicks and that we direct students to learn and teach themselves. I am very impressed with the outcome of this method of teaching and know that I have covered the subject more thoroughly than in my prior years of covering computer science. The use of wikis and blogs to discuss, summarize, and synthesize information is a very powerful tool.

No more "black hole" of post-grade assignments

The most exciting thing is that now, Kyli's hard work can benefit students around the world. No longer is knowledge lost in a knowledge "black hole" of already graded assignments. This work continues to exist and can be updated by others as more information comes to light!
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